Guy Garvey, otherwise known as the lead singer for Elbow, kicked off the final day of this three day festival in Bristol, in what has turned into a milestone event and what may be winding up as the first leg of a journey that heads to SXSW.
The turnout has exceeded expectations and the diversity of acts has put it at the forefront of major music festivals in the world. Guaranteed not to stay this way, but the festival became a meeting ground for bands and musicians to hang out, listen and discuss music. As was reported by several disc-jockey/MC’s who spent their off-hours wandering; the town of some 450,000 was awash with musicians and music lovers – it was all about music and it was the prevalent topic of conversation in pubs and on street corners throughout Bristol.
So it would come as no surprise that an artist like Guy Garvey, who has scored so highly with Elbow and who is embarking on a solo/side career, would find Bristol the next best thing to his living room.
The result was a great show, during a weekend filled with great shows, surprise guests and impromptu moments. In short, it’s what music festivals should be all about – and in this time where the mainstream is floundering and losing direction, it’s the people committed to music, who love what they do and who are bonding together, who are providing the direction and the energy to prove that music is far from dead; it’s just as alive and vital as ever.
That’s good news – and it’s an invitation to keep an open mind when making new discoveries. I can’t tell you how many people lament music in the “good old days” (when it was naive and not corporate and still run by impresarios and not accountants or conglomerates), convinced it has all died a horrible death in recent years. I gotta tell you – they are looking in the wrong places and they are not availing themselves of these discoveries of artists and bands who are serious and work hard at what they do. Takes a little work and a propensity to dig – but it’s all worth it, I swear.
And that’s why I found listening to the festival, all the way over here in Los Angeles, a riveting experience, and one I hope to be sharing with you in the coming days. Familiar voices and new ones – a lot of great talent, all in one town for one weekend.
Bottom line – keep an open mind and keep listening.
And in the meantime, here’s Guy Garvey to explain it all to you.